Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)

Terravest Phase II and III Developments in the Town of Southeast.



Government Agencies

October 17, 2002

George J. Rohrman,
Chairman Southeast Planning Board
67 Main St
Brewster, New York 10509

Subject: Site Plan and Subdivision, Terravest 2 and 3; Terra 9? Proposed action for 490,000 square feet of office/warehouse uses, 72 units of senior housing, and the creation of a town park.

Dear Mr. Rohrman,

I would like to offer comments about the significant adverse environmental impacts of the Terravest Corporate Park Phase 2 and 3 proposed site plan and subdivision which was the subject of the October 7 public hearing before the Southeast Planning Board.

This development is of particular interest because I travel Zimmer Road and Route 312 several times a day and have seen a huge increase to traffic since the construction of the Home Depot complex at the Highlands. In addition, the 72 proposed units of senior housing would be located directly behind my residence on Holmes Road.

I would like to call your attention to the fact that while the subject property consists of approximately 139 acres, it is comprised of six tax-map parcels. Terravest 2- the site of 490,000 square feet of office/warehouse space consists of three tax parcels with a total area of 46.6 acres; and the two tax parcels of Terravest 3 have a total area of 87.48 acres. Not only are T?2 and T?3 in two distinct areas, they are separated by a town road - Zimmer Road. There are a number of reasons why this could be important in evaluating the impact of the proposed development for Terravest Corporate Park. How does the developer propose to subdivide the property? Is subdivision being proposed for T?3?

After hearing at the public hearing that the development would be serviced by a central sewage treatment facility, I took a close look at the DEIS. Here's what the draft environmental statement says about waste disposal (DEIS, Page 132, Chapter 10, Sanitary Sewage arid Stormwater Management): "The site is currently vacant and does not include any surface, or subsurface, sanitary facilities." The DEIS continues "The proposed project is expected to generate sanitary waste. The applicant proposes to construct a wastewater treatment plant with capacity for all the park, and discharge treated effluent to a subsurface disposal system"..... " Each lot (in T?2) will have its own drilled well and will be serviced by connection to the WWTP located on T?3. A force main pipe will be extended from T?2 across Zimmer Road to the WWTP."

This prompted the question? how much of the wastewater for the total development would actually be generated by the senior housing to be built under a special permit in an OP?2 District? 1 was amazed to learn that only 34% of the nearly 52,000 gallons per day to be treated and discharged by the WWTP in T?3 would actually be generated by the 72 units of senior housing. The remaining 66% would he generated by the 490,000 square feet of commercial development on T?2 and Terra 9; AND even existing and new development to Terravest Phase I (Putnam County Offices, PARC, Unilock and 7 undeveloped lots!).

Could you please explain how Southeast Town zoning permits the treatment of sewage which was not generated by the principal use of the site? I think it is really stretching credibility to construct a 51,800 gallon per day flow WWTP facility on T?3 to serve large scale commercial development in T?2 and existing and new development in Terravest Phase 1, when only 34% of the wastewater is actually generated by the senior housing.

I also noted in the DEIS that the "Uses on T?2 conform with the Town of Southeast OP?2 requirements for office/warehouse/light manufacturing uses." When I looked at the definitions in the Zoning Code Book for light manufacturing, I learned in 138?4 that this included "Industrial uses such as manufacturing, processing and assemblage that are of a nonpolluting nature, particularly with regard to reservoir and groundwater, resources, noise and air quality." The next question was? How are "Non?polluting Uses" defined in the Code? 1n 138?4, I found the following definitions: "Non?polluting Use: Any use which is not noxious or offensive by reason of emission, odor, dust, vibration, heat, smoke, fumes or radiation and which does not involve the storage or processing of sewage, sludge. medical refuse, or other waste which can present a hazard to public health safety or contamination of the natural environment." Wait a minute!! The storage or processing of sewage is not permitted in an OP?2 District? So, why would the developer be granted a special permit in an OP?2 District to construct 72 units of senior housing AND a WWTP to treat waste generated by all of Terravest Corporate Park???

I believe that the proposed action of this large scale office/warehouse and senior housing project in Terravest 2 and 3 is totally inappropriate for this site because of significant adverse environmental impacts including:
· a potential for erosion and/or drainage problems through the construction of 512 proposed parking spaces and more than 29 acres of impervious surface;
· Increase in water consumption and sewage generation;
· Disturbance of regulated wetlands;
· Adverse change in traffic levels.

I urge the Planning Board to give careful consideration to the needs and interests of the Southeast community and to reject the proposed site plan.

Martha G. Shortlidge

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